Maybe Jesus didn’t think of himself as God at all?
I went back to those eye witnesses. Christians believed it to be the sourcebook for what they believe about Jesus. And the gospel of John opens with the startling claim that Jesus, this guy John the writer knew as a best friend – he was ALSO God! ‘The Word.’ (Read Jn 1:1-3, 14).
But would Jesus agree that he really was all that – and more?
What kind of God would you want God to be, to be called God? Theologians talk about various ATTRIBUTES of God, for God to really be called God, he’d have to fit the bill.
God would have to be immutable (unchanging). The Bible says, Jesus is – the same, yesterday, today and forever.
You would think God – to be worthy of worship – would be eternal: he’d have no beginning and no end. Jesus fits the bill.
You’d want him omniscient – all knowing; and I read how Jesus met with people and knew all about them, the good, the bad and the ugly – he gave wisdom and teaching that cannot be surpassed. He knew what other people were thinking. He knew and predicted in advance time and again that he’d go to Jerusalem and be rejected, condemned, tortured, die on a cross –and rise again on the third day. He knew the past of people with a story to be ashamed of. He knew the future of the Jewish people and described it down to incredible detail. Those closest to him said, “You know all things…”
That knowledge can be a great comfort or a great problem for you.
Nobody else knows… but Jesus knows.
We’d expect God to be omnipresent. Jesus now says, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” He also said, “Wherever two or three gather in my name, I’m there with them.” So, Jesus is here.
We’d want God to be omnipotent: Jesus walked on water – and enabled others to at least have a go, he healed every kind of disease, set people free from dark spiritual powers that bound them, and said, “all authority on heaven and earth have been given to me.”
They say, power corrupts – and absolute power corrupts absolutely, but those who knew him best knew Jesus was HUMBLY omnipotent. Jesus can do anything!
I looked closer and found Jesus was a carpenter’s son, who grew up in a small impoverished dusty village, much more like those I saw in Haiti than here.
Fully human, He experienced the range of human emotions, sweated, ate because he was hungry and got tired and thirsty. He was tempted in every way as we are, yet didn’t give in like we do.
Fully man, but worshipped -and accepting it- as being fully God too! Fully God. God – in a body! Col 2;9 For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form.’
As much man as if he were not God, as much God as if he were not man. The second person of the Trinity. Sent by the Father, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to be Saviour of the world.
From his birth – he shared and received the glory and honour due to God and never tried to stop anyone who gave that to him. Throughout his life he expected not just to be respected as a rabbi, a prophet, a holy man, but to be worshipped and adored by all creations, all people and even the angels as the Lord, the only God. For all eternity He said that all should honour him, the Son, as they honoured the Father! (John 5:23)
That would be an OUTRAGEOUS claim for a human being. He said that he always did what God the Father wanted him to do. He said people’s eternal destinies hung on how they responded to him – because he had the power of life and death.
He said, ‘I am the door, I am the bread of life, I am the resurrection and the life…’
Who do you think you are Jesus?!
‘I am the way, the truth and the life!’
The New Testament doesn’t just describe him as a spokesman of God, like Isaiah or Moses was. No. He was the person of God – revealing himself as a person, so we wouldn’t have to guess what God’s like any more. Because we could never guess accurately his indescribable beauty, holiness, justice, power and love – God sent his Son.
Christ, the very best the Father had, who pre-existed as God, who was actually ‘here’ before here was here – steps into the world he created it to rescue it, to write himself into the story, be born of a woman that first Christmas, and die on a cross for our sins that first Easter. He expected that people would pray to him as to God, and as you look in the book of Acts, you see the very first Christians did! They called him Lord. They refused to call Caesar Lord, and died for that.
They sang praises to, and about his name. He said they should obey him as they’d obey God. They expected him to answer prayers – and he did!
I haven’t time to go into the evidence of the resurrection now, and you can look around on that yourself, though I’m so look forward to our big party at Gorton Monastery on Easter Sunday – because Jesus said he’d die and three days later be raised to life, and then he left the tomb and appeared that first Easter.
And again. And again and again – over 40 days, to friends, to family, to doubters – up to 500 of them at once – and gave them ‘many convincing proofs’ that he was the same man, the same God, the same Lord.
Oh, and he has met with me and multiple millions since to change our lives, destinies and eternities.
Thomas, doubting Thomas, said. “I won’t believe- unless I put my fingers in the nail holes.” Jesus appeared to him and said, “Go on then!” (I paraphrase).
Then Thomas knelt down right there and then and said of Jesus, “My Lord…and my God!” When you see who Jesus is, and you see how wrong you have been – that’s the only appropriate response.